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If you are an experienced classroom teacher, you may be thinking about what other professional opportunities are available for those with your background and skills. Earning a Master of Education in Elementary Education may be the first step on a path that leads to other interesting and challenging positions.

In or Out of the Classroom — or Both

Although it is common for the word educator to bring to mind a room with desks, students and a whiteboard, educators have career options outside of the classroom that a master’s degree prepares them for. Some of these positions will take you out of the classroom almost entirely, but many of them will find you working in classrooms, in project rooms and in specialized learning rooms. In other positions, you may find yourself in all of these places, working with students, other teachers, experts and administrators.

Working Outside the Classroom

If you are interested in job opportunities in the field of education but outside of the classroom, you may want to consider working in education research or as an instructional specialist.

Experienced teachers interested in discovering detailed information on instructional strategies, assessment methodologies and the value of various educational programs may want to consider a position in education research.

Qualified professionals in this position find themselves working with professionals in other fields as well as educational administrators on issues of standardized testing, curriculum and instruction. Your work would involve determining the areas of education in need of scrutiny and, perhaps, revision. You would design the research project and lead it from start to finish, taking responsibility for its reliability and for the validity of its results. In addition, you would work with the people affected by the results of your research, such as teachers and administrators, and, in some cases, students.

Another position in which you would work primarily outside of the classroom is that of instructional specialist. The job description of instructional specialists in Mississippi’s Grenada School District is “working with administrators, principals, and teachers in all schools to determine areas that need improvement. Specific duties include modeling best instructional practices to enhance student achievement, conducting classroom observations and follow-up conferences, and examining and modifying District Common Assessments to guarantee appropriate depth of knowledge levels.” Instructional specialists also design and provide professional development opportunities in an effort to “promote higher levels of instruction and to engage students in critical thinking activities or discussions.”

Working in the Classroom

If you are interested in expanding your educational experience but do not want to leave the classroom setting entirely, a master’s degree in elementary education will make opportunities as resource teacher or team leader available to you.

As a resource teacher, you would be working with students who may be lagging behind their peers in specific content areas and on specific skills or concepts. You may find yourself in the classroom along with the general education teacher, working with individuals or a small group of students for short periods of time throughout the day. There may also be a separate resource room, equipped with materials and other resources more appropriate for one-on-one or small-group instruction.

As a team leader at the elementary level, you would be working with several different teams of teachers and other school personnel. Included in your list of responsibilities would be leading your grade-level team meetings, addressing common problems and common goals.

You would also work with the teams of other professionals (such as the special education providers, including para-professionals), teachers on non-academic teams (such as art, music and physical education) and the school administration. You would be responsible for maintaining communication between and among the teams you work with as well as reporting back to your grade-level team about outcomes, other teams’ concerns and administrative directives.

After earning a Master of Education in Elementary Education from Mississippi College, you will have several interesting career choices to pursue. Perhaps the only question you need to ask yourself is “Do I want to work outside of the classroom, inside, or both?” No matter which option you choose, you will have plenty of professional opportunities after you graduate with a master’s degree in elementary education.

Learn more about the Mississippi College online M.Ed. in Elementary Education program.


Department of Public Instruction: Public Schools of North Carolina: Curriculum Instructional Specialist Job Description

Grenada School District: GSD Adds Instructional Specialists

Newfoundland Department of Education and Early Childhood Development: The Roles of Instructional Resource and Classroom/Subject Teachers in Inclusive Schools

Montgomery County Public Schools: Classification: Teacher, Elementary Team Leader

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